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to think that a 4 year old shouldn't gave to do homeowrk?

(53 Posts)
amijee Mon 22-Nov-10 16:14:33

Wasn't sure to post here or education section.

My ds1 has just started reception and has been coming home with some of his school books. He is a bright kid so I just thought they were for parents to see what he has been up to at school. Neither myself not DH had been working on it with him (but we do lots of reading - fact and fiction)as we thought it was the school's role to teach him to read and write.

Now, we are being told that he is "falling behind" on his sounds and blending. I know he is a bright kid so I am assuming we are the only parents that are not doing formalised "homework" with him. I obviously feel bad about this and have started doing so now....but deep down I do not think it's right to have these sorts of pressures on a 4 year old when there is a whole lifetime of hard work ahead of him! Of course I would like my children to be a success in life but I can't remember having homework until I started secondary school ( but still did well at achool)

Or am I just being unreasonable ( or lazy)?

ShanahansRevenge Mon 22-Nov-10 16:16:54

Usually teachers give clear instrucions as to what parents are expected to do...did you not get these?

redskyatnight Mon 22-Nov-10 16:18:15

I think practising sounds/reading at home is pretty common for Reception age children (DD's school encourages reading but not sounds). Your child will probably learn to read without any help at home, but the odd 2 minutes (which is what it is) spent practising is hardly onerous.

amijee Mon 22-Nov-10 16:18:50

not really - we went to the open day but homework was not mentioned then.

gingernutlover Mon 22-Nov-10 16:22:33

five to ten minutes a day of one to one reading/writing/number practise makes a big difference to children's progress. I have been a reception teacher for 9 years and I can really tell those who do a little bit at home and those who do nothing.

It may be the schools role to teach him to read and write but you can support that with such little effort and get such a fantastic outcome, that I just can't understand parents who do nothing at all at home.

The only exception I would make is if the homework is upsetting the child in anyway, and some children get very tired from full days at school - in that case it would be counterproductive to the child's attitude to school to make them do homework.

ShanahansRevenge Mon 22-Nov-10 16:23:26

Were there no written notes in your child's book bag?

gingernutlover Mon 22-Nov-10 16:23:27

i agree with shanahansrevenge though that you should have been given clear instructions on what is expected.

AMumInScotland Mon 22-Nov-10 16:23:52

Its fairly usual for children that age to get a little bit of reading practice to do at home - it helps build their knowledge and confidence to go over what they've been doing in class.

The school will be the ones teaching him, but an extra bit of repetition at home helps the lessons sink in. It only takes a few minutes, so it doens't exactly pile on the pressure.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 22-Nov-10 16:25:25

Reception kids should rarely be given anything more than reading to do at home with you (they might occasionally do something like bring the class teddy home and have to - with your help - add to Teddy's diary). If you're meant to be doing something with them the teacher should be communicating directly with you in some way.

Nowadays they do tend to get a bit of homework in primary, gradually building up from this start.

Reading ability at age 4 and intelligence are not so strongly correlated as you might imagine - some extremely bright people don't 'click' with reading till 6 or 7. I've got a DH and DD like that!

usualsuspect Mon 22-Nov-10 16:28:43

I think 4 is too young to do any homework

amijee Mon 22-Nov-10 16:28:54

thankyou ginger.I guess my own attitude about it surprises me as I always thought i would be a really academically pushy mum as I was a high achiever from a state school but I am the opposite!

Also i think a part of me is rebelling on behalf of my son - now I know that is being very unreasonable!

I fully accept that what is done at home enhances school work but in my day it was never done and a part of me wishes kids could be kids ( esp when he is an august birthday!)

MumNWLondon Mon 22-Nov-10 16:33:27

YAB a little U.

Totally normal in reception to have reading -maybe 10 or so minutes a day.

However maybe the school should have made it clearer to you - when DD first brought books home she explained to me she was supposed to read it. The school will teach him to read and write but they will expect him to do reading at home.

FWIW DS1 in reception, I asked at parents night last week about reading books and they said that no books until january as the "official advice" had changed.

We got a letter at start of year saying only homework in reception was reading.... I remember having reading homework also from start of primary school.

DD in year 2 and has more formal homework.

ShanahansRevenge Mon 22-Nov-10 16:37:39

If its too much you could always ask for less...and say you feel you do enough support at hoome.

My own DD is 6 and has had homework every night from class 1...a maths or English sheet, reading and a "fun" is a lot.

usualsuspect Mon 22-Nov-10 16:38:53

In fact I don't think that primary school children should have any formal homework it causes more stress than its worth imo

runmeragged Mon 22-Nov-10 16:41:51

YABU, sorry.

My DS learns one of the sounds each day in reception and parents are asked to make sure the child has learnt that one sound. We are also asked to spend about 5 minutes on blending (we are provided with 8 or fewer words) and 5 minutes on a reading book (with no/few words).

You would be amazed at the difference a few minutes a day makes. Education is a partership between the parents and the school and you have to hold up your end of the deal for it to work well. In your defence, it appears that the school have not made your role clear to you.

My DS is in reception, in terms of brightness, he is about average in his class - "homework" today has taken 10 minutes and the teacher is pleased with his progress.

amijee Mon 22-Nov-10 16:42:47

There is a book the teacher fills in to say what he has done that day. We have read the reading books to him but not done any of the sound work with him. ( although i bought some puzzles last weekend to make it more fun)

I think maybe part of the problem may be that we have 3 kids under the age of 5 and are we are very sleep deprived with our 5 mth old. I would still feel the same if I didn't have the baby but would be more likely to get on and just do it.

amijee Mon 22-Nov-10 16:44:12

how hilarious - just noticed loads of typos in my OP!!! I guess I need the spelling tests!!

MumNWLondon Mon 22-Nov-10 16:45:50

Also wanted to add that DD in year 2 says things like "child x is the worst a reading in the class, because his parents never do the reading homework with him" - I assume that all schools expect parents to do reading homework with children from reception upwards although if you post on the education board you'll see big differences between schools in terms of how often books are changed.

nancydrewrocked Mon 22-Nov-10 16:50:38

I have a DC in reception and another in year 1.

I think you are being a bit unrealsitic about just how much the school can do and also the notion of "formalised" homework.

We cannot travel anywhere by car without them wanting (honestly smile ) to practice letter sounds, spelling and simple sums. We play eyespy and couting games DC are just playing games.

nancydrewrocked Mon 22-Nov-10 16:51:40

That meant to say "we play eyespy and counting games and the only person who considers it hard work is me. The DC are just playing!"

mazzystartled Mon 22-Nov-10 16:57:36

You are being neither unreasonable nor lazy imo

I don't feel that "homework" is appropriate for infants at all, much less anything formal. It's bad enough that they have to start formal education so early in this country without homework eating up the few precious after-school hours of freedom.

I wonder if there is any correlation between doing homework at four and being a high achiever in one's later life. Doubt it.

grapeandlemon Mon 22-Nov-10 17:01:11

4 yo DD loves her "homework" of sounds and a bit of reading it takes about 10mins a day is is enjoyable - not like they come home with Macbeth at this age....

feeimcgee Mon 22-Nov-10 17:06:51

My DD is in Primary 1 and has just turned five, she also gets homework most nights. This is either flashcards to run through with single words on them, or a thin book. It's basically just recapping on what they have already done in class that day, and seems to be a way of helping them info to stick.
It is young to be getting homework, but even if we don't like it, they have to do it! Not doing it on principle is not really fair on your child.

amijee Mon 22-Nov-10 17:07:03

thanks for all the input.

I have to say - I do feel guilty now I know he is falling behind...but i am not sure if the evidence is there to suggest it will affect academic outcome later in life.

But then again..even GCSE's are so different to the O levels I did;the former have the potential for so much more parental involvement than taking some exams at the end of 2 years. ( BTW, I hear they are talking about bringing the old style exams back again)

All I can say is that I have now got a kick up my rear and will be "trying harder" with him but not without a level of procrastination!

DarciesmumandTTC2 Mon 22-Nov-10 17:11:08

DD had reading homework in YrR last year along with some flash card words.

In yr1 now and has books with lots of words on one page and has longer words on her flashcards and we also do some spellings.
She has a new book every week and sometimes they are quite thick and has to read upto a certain page, but I thought this was quite normal. she asks to read at home and doesn't wait for us to say which is a bonus.

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